If you are trying to come up with a festive theme for your upcoming New Year’s Eve Party, consider a Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Party! The Great Gatsby era was all about decadence, over the top parties and speakeasy bars; a combination perfectly suited to New Year’s Eve celebrations of all sizes!
The first step when planning your Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Party is the invitation. According to the website TinyPrints, the invitation is the best way to communicate to your guests what it is that you are celebrating and what the event is all about. Be clear on your invitation what the theme is and if you want guests to participate in the theme, such as dressing in Great Gatsby attire.
Plan to mail the invitation approximately four to six weeks prior to the party. Make sure to have an RSVP date of one to two weeks before the party on the invitation. Having an accurate guest count will help you with purchasing the correct amount of food and beverages you need.
Sites such as Etsy have a large selection of Great Gatsby theme invitations that you can customize yourself. Here are some examples:
Encourage guests to dress in their best Great Gatsby attire. For ladies this era meant heavy makeup, finger-waved bob haircut, feathered headband and fringed or heavily beaded cocktail dress. This was called the flapper style. Ladies can accessorize their outfit with feathered boas, long pearls, over the knee stockings and red lipstick.
Look for vintage accessories at consignment stores and antique stores. Jewelry vendor Stella and Dot sells beautiful art deco pieces you can wear to your party.
Men can emulate the gangster style of Al Capone or the elegantly dressed look of the Great Gatsby himself. Men dressed in pinstriped suits with black or white ties over a black shirt. They also dressed in tailored suits with vests and bow ties. Men can accessorize with gold jewelry, hats, and guns (toy guns only please!).
To create the intimate feel of a seductive speakeasy or the extravagant home of Gatsby himself, decorate with rich and seductive colors and fabrics. Use colors such as black, gold, white and silver. Add plenty of jewel tones, glitz, and glitter. Go through your cabinets, basement, and attic, and pull out any items that can be used such as candlestick holders, votives, serving platters and vases. Incorporate these items throughout the party space.
- Use a tall, narrow vase. If you don’t own one, most craft stores have a large selection of glass vases in different sizes.
- Fill the vase with decorative filler or water beads.
- Add tall white faux ostrich feathers, like those shown in the below picture. Floral foam inserted at the opening of the vase will help keep the feathers in place. For a dramatic look, use both black and white feathers.
To add some light elements, one option is placing a LED light base under the vase. This creates an uplight effect. If you want to have the vase glow from the inside, insert a mini LED light. For additional ambiance, place a glass or metallic votives around the base. All of these supplies are available at craft stores, discount stores or on-line.
Photo: Mugwump Productions
According to History.com, cocktail parties at homes became fashionable during the 1920’s. Finger foods were very popular and hosts served culinary delights such as lobster canapés, caviar rolls, crabmeat cocktails, shrimp patties, oyster toast, jellied anchovy molds, radish roses, deviled eggs and savory cheese balls. Recreate a Great Gatsby era spread by incorporating some of today’s popular finger foods with those from the 1920’s.
Create a shopping list of all the ingredients you need approximately one to two weeks before the party. It is also helpful to keep a list of any items your guests may be contributing to the party. This will ensure you do not have duplicate dishes. Two to three days before the party purchase all ingredients on your list. By purchasing and preparing as much as you can prior to the party day, will help reduce your stress level and ensure a smooth set-up.
Sample Menu for a Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve Party:
Chilled Shrimp with Horseradish Cocktail Sauce
Great Gatsby theme parties are all about decadence and abundance. What better way to express this than with dessert! Create a dessert buffet with beautiful serving pieces of varying heights and sizes (use those pieces you found in the attic!). Choose desserts in your Great Gatsby colors. These photos of a dessert display by Bizzie Bee Creations by Iris, found on Pinterest, shows how you can incorporate feathers, pearls and different types of containers, into your Great Gatsby dessert display.
Sparkling wine and gin were the popular drink choices at the speakeasy bars. Set-up a bar area with enough wide brimmed champagne glasses for everyone and a large, silver bucket filled with bottles of sparkling wine on ice. Plastic champagne glasses can be purchased for large crowds. If you don’t have an over-sized ice bucket, shop for one at stores like HomeGoods, consignment stores or antique stores. Include bottles of gin and mixers as well as non-alcoholic selections at your bar. Learn more about sparkling wine choices on my blog: Sparkling Wine Types for Holiday Entertaining.
Jazz came into it’s own during the Great Gatsby era. Popular artists included Louise Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Dance and party like you are celebrating in the roaring 20’s by creating a playlist with songs such as these:
- Puttin’ on the Ritz – Fred Astaire
- It Don’t Mean a Thing – Louise Armstrong & Duke Ellington
- Ain’t Misbehavin’ – Fats Waller
- Sing, Sing, Sing – Benny Goodman
- I Got Rhythm – Don Redman
- Blue Skies – John Kirby
- Anything Goes – Cole Porter
- Chicago – Benny Goodman
- Take the “A” Train – Duke Ellington
- West End Blues – Louis Armstrong
Pass out pre-purchased beads, hats, and feathered crowns from your local party supply store to everyone on the dance floor. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures and videos of the party in action!
A Great Gatsby New Year’s Eve party is guaranteed to be a great time for everyone. What special touches would you incorporate into your Great Gatsby party?
How do you like to ring in the New Year?